Ex-Dem NY Gov. Paterson blasts ‘rigged’ prosecution of Donald Trump as Pataki worries of election impact

Democratic ex-New York Gov. David Paterson says he would have wanted President Biden to consider pardoning Donald Trump in his hush-money conviction if the prez had the power.

Paterson, speaking Sunday on 77 WABC radio’s “The Cats Roundtable,” agreed with Trump’s gripes that the case was “rigged.

“There are a lot … of erroneous qualities to that trial,” Paterson said. “Some of the people who are involved: A person who worked at the White House somehow wound up in the Manhattan DA’s Office.

“All of it, when it adds up, really looks very much like what the former president describes it as,” the top Dem told host John Catsimatidis.

Donald Trump was found guilty of 34 counts of falsifying business records. Steven Hirsch

A US president cannot pardon someone of state crimes — such as the felony raps involving falsifying business records that Trump was convicted of in Manhattan court last week — but if the commander in chief could, he should have considered it in this case, Paterson said.

“Sometimes when you’re a leader and you’re willing to put yourself at the center of acrimony and controversy, both sides may come down on you,” the ex-gov said, noting former President Gerald Ford’s pardoning of ex-President Richard Nixon over “Watergate” in 1974.

“But years later, upon reflection, I’m sure they’ll respect you,” Paterson said.

“All of it, when it adds up, really looks very much like what the former president describes it as,” Paterson said. Getty Images

Trump is also facing federal charges in the Jan. 6, 2021, rioting at the Capitol and for allegedly moving national security documents to Mar-a-Lago — both of which would be pardonable offenses if he is convicted.

Paterson said Biden should be “real careful” about gloating, especially with the president’s son, Hunter Biden, now on trial.

Follow the latest on Donald Trump’s guilty verdict in his hush money trial

Hunter goes on trial in Delaware on Monday on three federal counts related to his alleged lying on federal paperwork about his drug addiction when he purchased and possessed a .38-caliber Colt revolver in October 2018. He faces up to 25 years in prison.

“There was a press release [after former President Trump’s conviction] from the White House: ‘No one is above the law.’ I think President Biden should be real careful. There are investigations on him and his son right now. That dog could come back to bite him,” Paterson said.

Former New York Republican Gov. George Pataki joined Paterson in blasting the prosecution of Trump — and both governors warned it could boomerang on Biden and other Democrats.

Former New York Republican Gov. George Pataki joined Paterson in blasting the prosecution of Trump. Christopher Sadowski

Pataki said the unprecedented conviction of an ex-president could lead to a tit-for-tat, with conservative prosecutors indicting Biden or other Democrats down the road.

 “When Biden is out of office, what is to prevent the district attorney of some rural county in Texas prosecuting him for millions of dollars for damage done by illegal aliens because he didn’t uphold his oath of office on the border?,” the former three-term governor said.

“They have opened a can of worms here that can go anywhere,” he said of Democrats pushing for Trump’s conviction.  

Pataki, while worrying that the conviction will cause long-term damage to the justice system, also said that in the short-term, it will have a negative impact on Trump’s comeback bid for The White House.

He said Americans who have not followed Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s successful prosecution closely will just look at the outcome — that Trump is a convicted felon.

Pataki also believes the conviction will hurt Trump’s re-election chances. Steven Hirsch

“If you’re an undecided voter who … doesn’t understand Bragg’s partisan and ideological history; or the judge’s [Juan Merchan] partisan and ideological history … it’s going to have an impact on this election, which is unfair,” Pataki said.

Pataki anticipates the Biden campaign running an attack ad against Trump reminding voters that “by the way, he’s a convicted felon” — while Trump’s appeal of the verdict won’t be heard until after the fall election.

“This isn’t about convicting Trump. This is about hurting him in the election. To use our justice system for this partisan political benefit is a disgrace,” said Pataki, a lawyer.

Trump became the first former US president to be convicted of felony criminal charges when the presumptive Republican 2024 White House nominee was found guilty on all 34 counts by a jury of 12 Manhattanites in the unprecedented criminal prosecution of an ex-president.

Trump was accused by Bragg’s office of illegally trying to cover up a $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels — part of a scheme to stifle sex scandals that threatened to derail his 2016 campaign.

Jurors found that Trump falsified business records throughout 2017 by lying that he was paying his then-lawyer and “fixer” Michael Cohen for phony “legal services” when he was actually reimbursing him for the hush money that kept Daniels from speaking out about having sex with Trump inside a Lake Tahoe hotel room in 2006.


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